Endpoint Security and Next Generation Antivirus (NGAV)

Endpoint security, or endpoint protection (EPP), is the cybersecurity approach to defending endpoints – such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices – from malicious activity. It has evolved from traditional antivirus (AV) software to providing comprehensive protection from sophisticated malware and evolving zero-day threats.
Endpoints can create entry points to organizational networks which cybercriminals can exploit. Endpoint security protects these entry points from malicious attacks.

Why is endpoint security important?

An endpoint security strategy is essential because every remote endpoint can be the entry point for an attack, and the number of endpoints is only increasing as your company grows and more work is performed remotely.

It’s estimated that 70% of successful data breaches originate on endpoint devices. Each data breach, costs on average $3.86 million globally with the United States averaging at $8.65 million per data breach according to Ponemon’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020” (Commissioned by IBM). The study identified the biggest financial impact of a breach was “lost business,” making up almost 40% of the data breach average cost.

Protecting against endpoint attacks is challenging because endpoints exist where humans and machines intersect. Businesses struggle to protect their systems without interfering with the legitimate activities of their employees. And while technological solutions can be highly effective, the chances of an employee succumbing to a social engineering attack can be mitigated but never entirely prevented.

Endpoint Protection Software vs. Antivirus Software

Endpoint security software protects endpoints from being breached – no matter if they are physical or virtual, on- or off-premise, in data centers or in the Cloud. It is installed on laptops, desktops, servers, virtual machines, as well as remote endpoints themselves.

Antivirus is often part of an endpoint security solution and is generally regarded as one of the more basic forms of endpoint protection. Instead of using advanced techniques and practices, such as threat hunting and endpoint detection and response (EDR), antivirus simply finds and removes known viruses and other types of malware . Traditional antivirus runs in the background, periodically scanning a device’s content for patterns that match a database of virus signatures. Antivirus is installed on individual devices inside and outside the firewall.

Core Feature of an Endpoint Protection Solution

Endpoint security tools that provides continuous breach prevention must integrate these fundamental elements:

1. Prevention: NGAV

Traditional antivirus solutions detect less than half of all attacks. They function by comparing malicious signatures, or bits of code, to a database that is updated by contributors whenever a new malware signature is identified. The problem is that malware that has not yet been identified, or unknown malware, is not in the database. There is a gap between the time a piece of malware is released into the world and the time it becomes identifiable by traditional antivirus solutions.

Next-generation antivirus (NGAV) closes that gap by using more advanced endpoint protection technologies, such as AI and machine learning, to identify new malware by examining more elements, such as file hashes, URLs, and IP addresses.

2. Detection: EDR

Prevention is not enough. No defenses are perfect, and some attacks will always make it through defenses and successfully penetrate the network. Conventional security can’t see when this happens, leaving attackers free to dwell in the environment for days, weeks, or months. Businesses need to stop these “silent failures” by finding and removing attackers quickly.

To prevent silent failures, an Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution needs to provide continuous and comprehensive visibility into what is happening on endpoints in real time. Businesses should look for solutions that offer advanced threat detection and investigation and response capabilities, including incident data search and investigation, alert triage, suspicious activity validation, threat hunting, and malicious activity detection and containment.

3. Managed Threat Hunting

Not all attacks can be detected by automation alone. The expertise of security professionals is essential to detect today’s sophisticated attacks.

Managed threat hunting is conducted by elite teams that learn from incidents that have already occurred, aggregate crowdsourced data, and provide guidance on how best to respond when malicious activity is detected.

4. Threat Intelligence Integration

To stay ahead of attackers, businesses need to understand threats as they evolve. Sophisticated adversaries and advanced persistent threats (APTs) can move quickly and stealthily, and security teams need up-to-date and accurate intelligence to ensure defenses are automatically and precisely tuned.

A threat intelligence integration solution should incorporate automation to investigate all incidents and gain knowledge in minutes, not hours. It should generate custom indicators of compromise (IoCs) directly from the endpoints to enable a proactive defense against future attacks. There should be a human element as well, comprised of expert security researchers, threat analysts, cultural experts, and linguists, who can make sense of emerging threats in a variety of contexts.

Protect against known viruses and catch new, hard-to-detect malware threats

Save your time and money while protecting your endpoints from a wide range of IT security threats, including malware, vulnerabilities, spam, security risks and malicious mobile attacks on most modern mobile device Operating Systems (OS), such as Android, iOS.

Contact us today and find out how we can help enhance your endpoint security through an easily managed, one console security solution that fit your business needs.

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